Mark Pettitt issued a mea culpa to the community after he was sworn in as the newest member of the Hall County Schools Board of Education on Monday, Jan. 7.
Pettitt was arrested on a driving under the influence charge Dec. 15 and faces an arraignment date in February.
“I would like to apologize to my friends, family and supporters … for any embarrassment and disappointment I have caused you recently,” he said.
He also apologized for any distraction he had caused the board of education.
Pettitt said the Bible he placed his hand on when accepting the oath of office was passed down from his grandmother, who has been an influential figure in his life.
“She had a heart for people, especially the disadvantaged, and she loved the underdog,” Pettitt said.
He added that his grandmother always told him: “Stay true to yourself.”
It’s an adage Pettitt said he carries with him every day.
Pettitt said it was an honor and privilege to serve as an elected official in Hall County, and he looked “forward to working hard each day for your families and to be the best public servant I can be.”
Nath Morris, chairman of the board, said publicly that he appreciated Pettitt’s apology.
On behalf of the board, Morris said “we do not condone the alleged behavior” and that the accusation had indeed become a distraction.
“We are held to high standards,” Morris added. “Our words and our actions are examples of the expectations we have for our employees, our students, our staff and for the constituents we serve.”
Morris said that the board values character and integrity, and he hoped Pettitt’s legal trouble would prove a valuable learning lesson for all.
“I pray we can continue to do the good work that this board and this system … has done in creating a positive and safe learning environment for our students,” Morris said.